Death, which sooner or later comes to all, is treated as a strangely taboo subject in America. In this program, veteran PBS journalist Bill Moyers describes the search for new ways of thinking—and talking—about dying.
Will human cloning provide a panacea for ailments and diseases or usher in a nightmarish world of eugenics and designer people? This program presents an in-depth exploration of the ethical concerns regarding human cloning, a technology that has already prompted heated debate over its potential uses and abuses.
.The documentary focuses on the captivity of Tilikum, a killer whale who was involved in the deaths of three individuals, and the consequences of keeping such large and intelligent animals in captivity. The coverage of Tilikum begins with his capture in 1983 off the coast of Iceland, showing how he was harassed by fellow captive whales and left in dark tanks for hours – incidents that Cowperthwaite argues contributed to the whale's aggression. Cowperthwaite also focuses on SeaWorld's claims that whales in captivity live longer, a claim that the film argues is false. 83 Minutes
Honoring the request of a lonely and desperate man, Sister Helen Prejean writes to Matthew Poncelet, the condemned killer of two teenage lovers, and is wholly unprepared for the relationship which will follow. When the date is set for Matthew's execution, he asks Sister Helen to be his spiritual advisor and she complies. As she comes to see the terrified human beneath Matt's brash, unrepentant facade, Sister Helen becomes increasingly disturbed, not only by the terrible anguish he suffers during the long countdown, but by the rage of the victims' families, who seek retribution for their unbearable loss. With his scheduled execution fast approaching, she struggles for the life, the dignity, and the soul of a confused and angry man. In the end, it is her faith and her fierce courage that sustains her when she stands with Matthew and with the victims' families. 120 Minutes
The current method of raw food production is largely a response to the growth of the fast food industry since the 1950s. The production of food overall has more drastically changed since that time than the several thousand years prior. Controlled primarily by a handful of multinational corporations, the global food production business - with an emphasis on the business - has as its unwritten goals production of large quantities of food at low direct inputs (most often subsidized) resulting in enormous profits, which in turn results in greater control of the global supply of food sources within these few companies. Health and safety (of the food itself, of the animals produced themselves, of the workers on the assembly lines, and of the consumers actually eating the food) are often overlooked by the companies, and are often overlooked by government in an effort to provide cheap food regardless of these negative consequences. 94 Minutes
John Q. Archibald is an ordinary man who works at a factory and takes care of his family. His wife Denise and young son Michael are his world. But when Michael falls seriously ill and needs an emergency heart transplant operation that John Q. can't afford and his health insurance won't cover, he vows to do whatever it will take to keep his son alive. With time and options running out, a desperate gamble becomes his only hope--he takes the emergency room hostage. As John Q. barricades himself inside the hospital along with his unwitting group of emergency room hostages, many of them in need of medical care themselves, he faces off with a veteran police hostage negotiator and a quick-tempered police chief who both want to bring a swift end to the stand-off. 110 Minutes
Sara and Brian Fitzgerald's life with their young son and their two-year-old daughter, Kate, is forever altered when they learn that Kate has leukemia. The parents' only hope is to conceive another child, specifically intended to save Kate's life. For some, such genetic engineering would raise both moral and ethical questions; for the Fitzgeralds, Sara in particular, there is no choice but to do whatever it takes to keep Kate alive. And what it takes is Anna. Kate and Anna share a bond closer than most sisters: though Kate is older, she relies on her little sister--in fact, her life depends on Anna. Throughout their young lives, the sisters endure various medical procedures and hospital stays--just another part of their close-knit family's otherwise normal life. Sara, a loving wife and mother who left her career as an attorney to care for her daughter, is sometimes lost inside the single-minded caregiver she has become in her efforts to save Kate. Her strong, supportive husband, Brian, is often rendered powerless and passive by his wife's strength and determination. And their only son, Jesse, drifts, at times all but forgotten as Kate and Anna take center stage. Until Anna, now 11, says "no." Seeking medical emancipation, she hires her own lawyer initiating a court case that divides the family and that could leave Kate's rapidly failing body in the hands of fate. 106 Minutes
Acclaimed filmmaker Michael Moore sets out to investigate the American healthcare system. Sticking to his tried-and-true one-man approach, Moore sheds light on the complicated medical affairs of individuals and local communities. The film investigates health care in the United States, focusing on its health insurance and the pharmaceutical industry. The movie compares the for-profit, non-universal U.S. system with the non-profit universal health care systems of Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Cuba. 123 Minutes
Super Size Me is a 2004 American documentary film directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock, an American independent filmmaker. Spurlock's film follows a 30-day period from February 1 to March 2, 2003 during which he eats only McDonald's food. The film documents this lifestyle's drastic effects on Spurlock's physical and psychological well-being, and explores the fast food industry's corporate influence, including how it encourages poor nutrition for its own profit. 99 Minutes
A touching real-life memoir becomes this powerful drama that reunites Children of a Lesser God director Randa Haines and star William Hurt. Always excelling in the role of a detached intellectual, Hurt gives one of his best performances as a surgeon whose cold aloofness puts a new spin on the word "clinician," until a life-altering health crisis reorients his perspective. Christine Lahti matches Hurt blow for blow as the doctor's embittered, angry wife, and Adam Arkin brings welcome, subtle shadings to his role of a kind and compassionate physician (Arkin's delightful creative choice is to play the man as if he knows he's considered a simpleton by his peers). Other supporting players such as Elizabeth Perkins and Mandy Patinkin are not so lucky, portraying characters that border on the clichéd, the only sour notes in an otherwise masterful, penetrating piece of filmmaking that actually has something vital to say about modern-day existence. 123 Minutes
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price is the documentary film sensation that's changing the largest company on earth. The film features the deeply personal stories and everyday lives of families and communities struggling to survive in a Wal-Mart world. It's an emotional journey that will challenge the way you think, feel... and shop.
Released simultaneously in theaters and DVD in November 2005, the film has been seen by millions worldwide. Families, churches, schools, and small business owners have screened the film over 10,000 times and the world is taking notice. See the film, share it, and become part of the movement forcing companies to act responsibly. 98 Minutes
Vivian Bearing is a professor of English literature known for her intense knowledge of metaphysical poetry, especially the Holy Sonnets of John Donne. Her life takes a turn when she is diagnosed with metastatic Stage IV ovarian cancer. Oncologist Harvey Kelekian prescribes various chemotherapy treatments to treat her disease, and as she suffers through the various side-effects (such as fever, chills, vomiting, and abdominal pain), she attempts to put everything in perspective. The story periodically flashes back to previous moments in her life, including her childhood, her graduate school studies, and her career prior to her diagnosis. During the course of the film, she continually breaks the fourth wall by looking into the camera and expressing her feelings. 99 Minutes
Dr. Jack Kevorkian (1928 – 2011) in the 1990s, when he defies Michigan law assisting the suicide of terminally-ill persons. Support comes from his sister, a lab tech, the Hemlock Society president, and a lawyer. The child of survivors of the Armenian genocide interviews applicants: his sister video tapes them. He assembles a device allowing a person to initiate a three-chemical intravenous drip. The local D.A., the governor, and the Legislature respond. In court scenes, Kevorkian is sometimes antic. He’s single-minded about giving dying individuals the right to determine how their lives will end. He wants the Supreme Court to rule. He picks a fight he can’t win: is it hubris or heroism? 134 Minutes
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